The nuts are bolts are still important. Java framework hell is partially a result of the language's shortcomings. Clearly some languages and tools can do some jobs in hours/days when it takes days/months using others, but then seemly productive tools fall to bits when used for other kinds of jobs. There is much to look at this level, it cannot be dismissed so lightly.
It's not like the ones we have are so fantastic, the more experimentation the better.
There's no doubt that with smart phones now sub-$100, there will be a shakeout. It may be calculators and corded phones all over again. As for what nationality to buy, most of the world is now buying Asian, and much of the "Chinese crap" you write of gets reasonable reviews and appears to last the required 2 year life span.
Nokia failed to realise is that their customers were buying because they had a reliable brand with a respectable name, but that in most other respects, most of their customers considered Nokia's phones to have similar features as all the rest. They were trusted and reliable - they were an IBM, not an Apple. When they stopped making phones with similar features as all the rest, they were taking a big step into unknown territory.
If they had simply built a solid android phone, they could have retained much of their customer base and charged a premium for brand/quality. I guess they still could.
The government's economic development plans for the region is to move up market into more advanced, higher valued, manufacturing and services. Part of the plan is to is to encourage more workers rights, higher wages, increased health-care, welfare, improved education, move the workforce up market, and help force low paid manufacturing out. Lower value manufacturing is now being encouraged to move the interior regions to lift the economy and incomes there. It's all well documented and written about. It should come as no surprise that there will be some labour issues in the southern coastal regions during the transition.
They're directing and regulating competitive market forces to achieve national growth. Milton Friedman probably wouldn't approve - but it's worked so far.
I've sat in front of a Linux desktop ever since a Linux desktop became possible. As a UNIX desktop it matured long ago, but it hasn't moved very far since. The separation of kernel and desktop has always been the elephant in the room. The desktop developers are fiddling around the edges, creating a desktop for UNIX without considering that they could also create a UNIX for the desktop. Why is it that user file history and the trashcan are not implemented in the operating system so that command-line and desktop-functionality are unified? Why is it that user level file sharing is not implemented in the file system instead of being implemented in the desktop file managers? Why is it that user level desktop applications can bring the system to its knees without any chance for a user to intervene?
I guess I'm part of the problem, because like many Linux users, I'm a command line user, the shortcomings of the desktop are simply not irritating enough to make me want to do much about them (although I have tried - e.g. collectfs).
Python Matplotlib covers some of what you might be interested in and it can be used with other GUI toolkits see http://www.scipy.org/Cookbook/Matplotlib and http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/ - at the very minimum it might provide some food for thought about the feature-set you're seeking.
We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra